Posted On November 22, 2021

What is Evangelism?

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Featured, The Gospel and the Ministry

What is Evangelism? In 1918, the Archbishops’ Committee in the Church of England defined evangelism in the following way: “To evangelize is so to present Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, that men shall come to put their trust in God through him, to accept him as their Savior, and serve him as their King in the fellowship of his Church.”[1] Similarly, J. I. Packer stated the following:

“Evangelism is presenting Christ Jesus and his work in relation to the needs of fallen men and women, who are without God as a Father and under the wrath of God as a Judge. Evangelism means presenting Christ Jesus to them as their only hope … Evangelism means exhorting sinners to accept Christ Jesus as their Saviour … Evangelism also means summoning men to receive Christ Jesus as all that he is.[2]

Mack Stiles gives us another helpful definition of evangelism: “Evangelism is teaching (heralding, proclaiming, preaching) the gospel (the message from God that leads us to salvation) with the aim (hope, desire, goal) to persuade sinners (convince and convert).”[3]

How did Spurgeon define evangelism? In simple terms, to evangelize is to display the all-sufficient Savior to sinners so that they would believe in him and be saved. In other words, “the true evangelist must never fail to set forth the beauties of the person of Christ, the glory of his offices, the completeness of his work, and above all the efficacy of his blood.”[4] For Spurgeon, evangelism is “plainly telling the seeking soul that his only hope for salvation lies in the Lord Jesus Christ. It lies in him completely, only, and alone. To save both from guilt and the power of sin, Jesus is all-sufficient.”[5]

The great promises of the gospel drove Spurgeon to display the Lord Jesus Christ before a lost and dying world so that whoever would believe in him would find everlasting life (John 3:16): “The reason why we may hope for the forgiveness of sin, and life eternal, by faith in the Lord Jesus, is that God has pledged himself in the gospel to save all who truly trust in the Lord Jesus, and he will never run back from his promise.”[6]

Christian, have you recently set forth the beauties of your glorious Savior before a lost and dying world? When have you last told a lost sinner of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ? When have you last urged men and women to repent of their sin and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15)? Have you grasped the reality of heaven and hell? In his book Biblical Teaching on the Doctrines of Heaven and Hell, Edward Donnelly writes the following: “Within the next hour, eleven thousand men, women and children will have gone forever to a place of everlasting joy or a place of everlasting pain. Imagine them dying even now, as you read these words – one, then another, then another. As you draw your next breath, several more are leaving this earth.”[7]

Will this reality change how you view men and women? Will you pray to the Lord that He would stamp eternity upon your eyeballs? Will you take every opportunity to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving mercies? I pray that this would be the case for you, and I. May it be our earnest prayer for the Lord to overwhelm us with His redeeming love, and as a result, we would be compelled to tell others about the One who has loved us and washed us clean in His blood.  To God alone be the glory (Rom. 11:36).

References

[1] J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity, 2008), 42.

[2] Ibid., 43.

[3] Stiles, Evangelism, 27.

[4] Spurgeon, Revival Year Sermons, 82.

[5] Spurgeon, Around the Wicket Gate, 16.

[6] Ibid., 19.

[7] Edward Donnelly, Biblical Teaching on the Doctrines of Heaven and Hell, p. 3.

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